Document source : www.ataonline.edu.au
© 2006 Australasian Training Academy Pty Ltd
ATA Work Guide
1. Many Vietnamese private language schools and universities do not
issue 'written' contracts. The fact that many ESL/EFL teachers freelance
between different schools often means that teachers' hours are
guaranteed only for the duration of the current course.
2. Split shifts are very common, with few language schools running
3. Paid vacations and paid preparation time are almost unheard of in
The currency of Vietnam is the Dong. There are banknotes of 200 Dong,
500 Dong, 1,000 Dong, 2,000 Dong, 5,000 Dong, 10,000 Dong, 20,000 Dong
and 50,000 Dong.
In the middle of 1995 the exchange rate for one US Dollar in Vietnam was
roughly 11,000 Dong. The extraordinarily low value of the currency unit
makes you a Dong millionaire with only US $ 100 in your pocket. (Just for
the record: in Turkey where one US Dollar exchanges for some 32,500
Turkish Lira, 35 US Dollars are enough to become a Lira millionaire.)
Over the years, the Dong has lost enormously in value. At the beginning of
1991 the parity was 8,000 Dong per US Dollar, in 1989 it stood at 3,500
Dong per US Dollar.
When the Dong had more value, at least officially, there was a black
market where Dongs were sold at a substantial discount. With the Dong
devaluated, black market rates are only marginally better than those
offered at banks. You may exchange Traveller Cheques in Saigon, Hanoi
and larger provincial cities at the branch offices of the Vietcombank and
the Vietnamese overseas export company Cosevina. It's easiest to
exchange Traveller Cheques issued in US Dollars.
Outside the cities and tourist centres you will have almost no chance to
exchange Traveller Cheques. You may find somebody willing to buy US
Dollar banknotes but the exchange rate will be worse than in the cities.
Contrary to what is the case in Cambodia, it is not necessary to carry US
Dollars in small denominations as alternative currency for day-to-day
transactions. Even though you will first have to get used to the high figures,
it is always best to pay bills in Dong.
Credit cards are by far not as well introduced as for instance in Thailand.
Visa is the most widely accepted card; at some places in Saigon, you
may charge to your Mastercard.
There are banknotes of 200 Dong, 500 Dong, 1,000 Dong, 2,000 Dong, 5,000 Dong, 10,000 Dong, 20,000 Dong and 50,000 Dong. At the beginning of 1991 the parity was 8,000 Dong per US Dollar, in 1989 it stood at 3,500 Dong per US Dollar. When the Dong had more value, at least officially, there was a black market where Dongs were sold at a substantial discount.